Our research

Our research crosses disciplines and has a focus on the south west of Scotland while drawing on international case studies and best practice. It includes studies of rural economy and skills development, community development, place-making, and the impact of demographic change.

  • We are carrying out an investigation into the ‘trickle-out’ effects of major capital inward investment and ‘community benefits’ on the regional economy. This three year research project has a focus on the building of the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Hospital which opened on the outskirts of Dumfries in late 2017.
  • We are exploring the impact of geographic deprivation measures on policy and resource decisions. We aim to investigate the ways in which small area indicators of deprivation influence the perceptions of local decision-makers, and how these indicators are used as evidence in the spatial targeting of policies or interventions related to poverty and disadvantage. This research project is funded by the Carnegie Trust.
  • Our socio-economic baseline study for Galloway and Southern Ayrshire (GSA) Biosphere was published in 2017. The Biosphere is a UN-designated area centred around Galloway Forest Park.  We hope our report will help shape future priorities for the Biosphere and will be a useful tool to monitor change over time.
  • We are undertaking a pilot study of the contribution which small business make towards plans for and responses to natural hazards.
  • Our researchers ran a series of interviews with local stakeholders to investigate responses to and possible parameters of the proposed development of a 'care campus' in Dumfries.  This Crichton Care Campus - Concept Testing Research was completed in 2017.
  • We carried out a series of consultations with academic, professional and policy stakeholders to identify gaps and opportunities around the understanding of resilience in Scotland. This resilience scoping exercise was completed in 2016.
  • We analysed data relating to different types of poverty deprivation, the mapping of local concentration of deprivation, and primary research with those experiencing low incomes in Dumfries and Galloway during 2015. Our report for Dumfries and Galloway Council provides a detailed understanding of incidences of deprivation in the region, and has been used the Council's Anti-Poverty Strategy.
  • We evaluated ways in which to develop a robust evaluation tool for the collection and analysis of data that would enable the organisers of the Wild Spring Festival to understand the demographic profile of participants. Our independent evaluation, carried out in 2014, provided useful baseline data for future evaluations of the festival.
  • Our Baseline Study and Regional Economic Profile gives information about core economic indicators which underpin the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Economic Strategy 2014-20. The study also provides an economic profile of the Dumfries and Galloway region. We produced this report for Dumfries and Galloway Council.
  • We evaluated future challenges for the Queensbury Initiative, an innovative partnership between schools, business and the Third Sector to prove opportunities for vocational and work-based learning. This research took place between 2008 and 2013.
  • We carried out a study of how young people in rural areas make their higher education choices and decisions about whether to seek careers in rural areas. This work, carried out in 2006, was funded by the Dumfries and Galloway Better Neighbourhood Services Fund Pathfinder for Vulnerable Young People.